Ford Will Split Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Between Mexico and United States

Michigan gets the Mustang hybrid while Mexico will assemble Ford's unnamed electric SUV.

Ford

Ford has changed gears on its plans to build all of its long-range electric vehicles in Michigan. On Wednesday, the automaker quietly hinted that it will scrap the promises penned by departed CEO Mark Fields and instead move production for its first all-electric vehicle to the automaker's plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico.

Previously, Fields had announced that EV production would take place in the United States amidst an uncertain trade future. With the passing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Ford found new life in the ability for its Cuautitlan plant to be viable in the long run and withdrew from its plan to allocate all long-range EV production in the United States.

The Cuautitlan plant currently assembles the Fiesta and Fiesta ST—models which have been on their way out, at least in theU.S., for some time. The news that Ford is allocating Cuautitlan to its electric SUV could indicate an uncertain future for the subcompact auto elsewhere in the world, or simply a shift in manufacturing location. Previous models built at the plant, which began production 55 years ago in 1964, include the Contour, Crown Victoria, F-Series pickup, Mustang, and Mystique.

Workers in Flat Rock, Michigan will still be allocated additional production, Ford guarantees. The plant will build the future hybrid successor to the Mustang, a vehicle which is presently assembled at the plant. The automaker will also dedicate a portion of its facility to outfit commercial hybrid vehicles with self-driving technology and "unique interiors."

Ford says it will also add an additional 900 jobs to its Flat Rock plant by 2023, a jump from the 700 jobs it had initially planned. In all, the Flat Rock Assembly Plant will receive an $850 million allocation from Ford's $11.1 billion investment in future electric vehicles.

By 2022, Ford looks to have 16 all-electric vehicles and 24 hybrids on sale worldwide.